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Posts Tagged ‘food pictures’

Nothing celebrates spring like a bright plate of pasta chock full of veggies.  I find myself craving this every year as the fields turn bright green with new foliage. It always makes me think of my friend Trina, and trips to Alexander Valley for wine tasting. Oh, the days when I didn’t have kids…    OK,  enough with the daydreaming.  At least there’s still the primavera. PS:  T- I miss your little water-tower house!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta of your choice (Fettuccine is the norm, but I didn’t have any so I used farfalle in this recipe)
  • 16 stems of asparagus, woody end snapped off
  • 2 small zucchini (6-7 inches long)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 tbsp butter, separated into tbsp sized pats
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tomatoes, preferably Roma or Plum but whatever is on hand will work
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press (which is my personal favorite way!)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, or Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup of loosely packed basil, chopped
  • the juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 large bowl of ice water

This will make enough for 6-8 entrée sized servings, so beware! You can always cut the recipe in half.

Put two pots on the stove with 3-4 quarts of water and 1 tbsp of salt in each. Start prep work while bringing the water to a boil.

I cut up the vegetables in a specific way to speed up the cooking process. Be sure to keep them separated since they are initially cooked separately. Start with the asparagus. I cut two inches of the tips off, then slice in half lengthwise along the remaining stalk, and in half again as shown in the picture below.

As for the zucchini and carrots, take a peeler and press down a little while making your peeling motion in order to get a slightly thicker peel.

Then stack up the peeled strips and cut them in half lengthwise.

If you buy whole mushrooms, slice them!!!

Once your water is boiling, drop in the asparagus and boil for 45-60 seconds.

Then remove using a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Ta-dow. Once it’s cooled down (about a minute) remove from the cold water with a slotted spoon (you’ll need the water for cooling down the other cooked veggies) and put into a colander to finish draining.

Next cook the zucchini for 30-40 seconds

then plunge into the ice water, repeating the cooling down and then draining process. Next are the peas for 30 seconds, remove, cool-down and drain, and then the carrots for  1-1/2 to 2 minutes. I bet you can guess how you cool these down.  Once all veggies are cooled and drained, you should end up with a big and beautiful bowl of color. Take a look!

Purty!

Cut an “x” into the tips of your tomatoes like so –

and put into the boiling water.  Cook until the “x” on the end just starts to peel back or split, then plunge into your ice bath to stop the cooking process.  They should look something like this –

The skins should slide off pretty easily. Use the peeler on any stubborn pieces of tomato skin.  Now cut out the stem and chop them up.

Now is the time to cook your pasta. Pour it into the second pot of boiling water and stir to prevent sticking.

You can finally dump out that boiling veggie water from your first pot, and rinse it out since we’re going to use it to make the sauce while the pasta is boiling. Yep, we’re only using two pots to make primavera. How great is that!

Put 3 tbsp of butter into the dry pan and saute your mushrooms until lightly browned. Add in the chopped tomatoes.

Cook until the tomatoes start to break up about 8-10 minutes.

Check you pasta. If it’s done, drain and set it aside. If not quite done, continue to boil.

Add in the last tbsp of butter and your garlic to the mushroom mixture.

Cook until the garlic has mellowed, approximately 3 minutes. Turn down the heat to low, then add in the cream and half of the parmesan cheese (Save the rest of your cheese for sprinkling on top!) and stir until the cheese has melted and blended in with the sauce.  Simmer for an additional 3 minutes stirring until the sauce has slightly thickened. Set aside off of the heat until your pasta is done.

Pour drained pasta and veggies into the sauce and stir until completely combined.

Stir in basil and lemon juice and serve! Of course I sprinkle mine with more cheese due to my dairy addiction.

Join me.

I’m a dairy pusher.

Cut to 3 minutes later.

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Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at making crab cakes.  At least I’ve come up with what I think is a darn fine recipe.  Moist and crabby on the inside, and crunchy on the outside…  Mmmmm.  So when we went to a crab feed the other night, I couldn’t get these off my mind.  I cracked and picked out the meat of a bunch of extra legs, then quietly smuggled my booty (as in pirate…  well both actually) out of the door before the crab police would take it away.  Oh yeah! It’s on!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of lump crabmeat picked over to remove shell and cartilage
  • 25 butter crackers, crushed
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp chopped parsley or 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 egg
  • 2-1/2 tbsps mayonnaise
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp spicy brown or stoneground mustard
  • 1/4 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • canola or olive oil for frying (I use a little of each!)

Have I told you how much I adore crabmeat?? I have to take a moment…

My mouth

is watering!!

Ok, I’m finished now. Let’s make some cakes!

Get a medium size bowl and dump in the butter cracker crumb, green onion, red bell pepper and parsley.

Mix together until it looks like this-

Looks purty already, and smells good to boot! Now add in the egg, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lemon juice, mustard, horseradish, Old Bay seasoning, onion and garlic powder.

Stir until completely combined.

It may look a little drier than this and that’s fine!

Now gently, oh so gently stir in your crabmeat.

Wrap a sheet pan with parchment paper, and using a heaping 1/4 cupful at

a time (an ice cream scoop will work wonders!), scoop out and form patties directly onto the parchment paper.

You should get anywhere from 6-8 regular sized patties. Once patties are formed, put the entire tray in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.  The wait is hard, but it is a really important step.

Heat up your oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan) until shimmering, but not smoking about 5 minutes. Using a spatula and pick up each patty and place in the panko bread crumbs.  Individually bread the top and bottom of each patty

and place into the pan gently with flat spatula. Brown over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and center is cooked.

Put the cooked crab cakes on a paper towel to drain for a minute or two, and serve!

Yum mmmmmmmmmm, I can’t resist…

Look at that crab!

Serve with lemon and tartar sauce, or a roasted red pepper aioli. Gotta go finish this up!

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